History of the Genetic Counseling Summer Camp Program
In 2009, responding to the need expressed by college students for genetic counseling shadowing experiences, the Human Genetics Program organized the First Annual Genetic Counseling Summer Camp. Ten genetic counselors joined Sarah Lawrence HGP faculty to host 18 undergraduate students from the northeast region to teach them more about the field of genetic counseling. The camp included a panel discussion of genetic counseling roles, a Q&A session, case presentations, and 15-minute speed sessions with individual counselors. The program was well-received. Forty-five students attended the second program, held in June 2010. Twenty faculty members supported this year’s program, helping to spread knowledge about genetic counseling.
At the Sarah Lawrence Genetics Summer Camp, people receive information. For most of our attendees, their primary exposure to the field of genetic counseling comes by way of internet research. The Sarah Lawrence Genetics Summer Camp provides them an opportunity to gather information in a neutral environment. At our camp, individuals are exposed to the various branches and issues of genetic counseling. More importantly, however, attendees get to meet recent graduates and practicing genetic counselors. This person-to-person contact gives our attendees invaluable insight into the field of genetic counseling, along with the opportunities available to graduates with a Master of Science in Genetic Counseling. We could go on, but we feel that some of our most recent attendees explain it best:
“Thank you for the opportunity; I can't explain how positive my experience was. I really feel confident that I know what genetic counseling is all about and feel completely confident that I know what I'm getting myself into.”
“Thank you for the effort you put into organizing this event and for the number of people you brought to represent the profession. It answered so many of my questions which would have otherwise taken me so long to accumulate. it also opened my eyes to aspects of the profession that I was previously unaware of. Many many thanks.”
“[What did I enjoy the most about the summer camp?] Meeting SO many graduates, hearing their inspiring stories and seeing the amazing campus of the first school to offer a Master's in Genetic Counseling. On top of everything, I never felt pressured into applying to Sarah Lawrence College, which just makes it an even more appealing place to me.”